The Scripture Scout
How to Teach Children
The Crazy Chronology
of Bible Books
"Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John , Acts, and the letter to the Romans.... "
When you read the words above, did you sing them in your head? Haha I did. Many who have grown up in a similar tradition have a little tune as their go-to to learn the books of the Bible. The funny thing is, they indeed weren't even written in that order!
Now, are you asking why I am writing about this? The Scripture Scout is about to publish a Sunday School curriculum called Sleuth for the Truth and included in the packet is a huge Biblical timeline poster to put on the wall of your classroom and some graphics to pin on it as you cover each lesson. It's pretty rad. My mother designed it in the late sixties and had used it in every single classroom in every single church in every single town where they lived as international and homeland missionaries. It has been tweaked and updated and even though I am struggling with painful loss after my mother's sudden passing, I am very excited for you to be able to access and use this timeline and curriculum. It is almost seeing the ends of publication. I'm so excited about this I can barely keep from just putting it out there unfinished! And I really mustn't. So I am giving you a little something-something to whet your whistle. But first ...
For certainly thousands of years, the Hebrew Old Testament has mostly remained true to its original form. While we don’t understand precisely how the original books were chosen, we have every reason to believe that the choices were guided by the same Holy Spirit who inspired the many biblical authors. Together these recorded works show a body of oral history that the ancient Hebrews lived with, relied upon, and revived daily in writing or in their speech.
However, since the Greek New Testament revelation stands upon the foundation of the Hebrew Old Testament, the accuracy of the Old is of great importance to set up the New!
... the Greek New Testament revelation stands upon the foundation of the Hebrew Old Testament, the accuracy of the Old is of great importance to set up the New!
So. The Scripture Scout timeline doesn't follow the Bible, Genesis through Revelation. *gasp* I mean, even though Genesis tells of the creation of the world, yes, the FIRST thing that happened, Job was written before it! However, The Scripture Scout's Sleuth for the Truth timeline follows the chronological order of events when they occurred with a supplemental timeline that shows when they were written (still not the same as our beloved Canon).
By understanding the importance of Old Testament accuracy, many scholars have made many similar points about the New Testament. And those we compound as this (scout interpreted): if the Bible be convicted of any fabrication regarding history, then there is NO basis for the case for Christianity! The defence of THIS TRUTH is entirely DEPENDENT UPON THE TRUTH OF BIBLICAL HISTORY (thank goodness that Christian Apologetics is rooted in the biblical effort to affirm historical authenticity!).
"Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith..."
You are probably also aware that the gospels were not all written at the same times or places and some of the letters to churches were written before the birth, ministry, & adventures of Jesus were even recorded. The Scripture Scout's Sleuth for the Truth calendar shows the chronological order as to when the books were written. The lesson plans are in chronological order as to when these historical events occurred, even though some have been tweaked by being put together with continuity of theme. Both are offered to the teacher, and thus, the students can get a 'big picture look at the book.' For example, Paul’s missionary travels seem all over the place in this chart because that's how he travelled! Galatians was the FIRST book written, and it was several years after the crucifixion of Christ, so we chose to keep some of the lessons from the epistles ordered by theme.
How in the world can you make this FUN?
Each book has a fun icon that relates to The Scripture Scout's Sleuth for the Truth LESSON PLANS. So when you see the icon at the top of the lesson plan, you can quickly look at the calendar to see when it occurred or in what order it was written. When the book is covered, the icon can be placed on a poster timeline. You can make this yourself or use The Sleuth for the Truth timeline to be available in February of 2019! However, the basic timeline and images are offered below. :-)
That said, you already know that Bible study is not discretionary in the Christian life. It is both the responsibility AND the opportunity of all believers. Because you and your students are involved in regular Bible study, you will be enjoying one of the fundamental ways God uses to bring us to maturity in Him!
Happy sleuthing, fellow scripture scout!
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